Edited by Lyle Young
Dr Joe Bull, Senior Lecturer in Conservation Science for the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, and a team of Uzbek/UK researchers have been awarded a Darwin Initiative/Defra grant for a project titled Resurrection Island: enterprise, conservation and development around the Aral Sea.
Following Soviet-era irrigation for cotton, the Aral Sea region is ecologically and economically degraded – yet holds substantial cultural, biodiversity and industrial value. This project will lay the foundation for designating Resurrection Island as a Protected Area, while developing sustainable income streams (including tourism), enabling residents to benefit, and ensuring that industrial development results in no net losses of biodiversity. This project will bring government, industry, and communities together, turning this area from a symbol of despair into one of hope and regeneration.
Joe says: “The Aral Sea region has absolutely fascinating history, culture, and wildlife – and yet is widely known as the site of one of the worst environmental disasters of recent decades. This funding presents an excellent opportunity to support and expand ongoing efforts to reverse the fortunes of this unique part of the world. Our School are national leaders in winning and delivering Darwin Initiative grants, and we are excited to see what this latest one can achieve”.